Reply To: Top down furler for soft luff asymmetric spinnaker

Gordon Dyer

    Hi Andrew and Petra
    I have given this a bit of thought too. I have Riff Raff, a tall rig 45p. I have purchased a Pro-furl kit NEX4.0 V2 Flying sail furler, to do a bottom up for my Code 0 and a top down for my Asymmetric, it also came with the torsion line with balls. As with most things, it is a bit of a compromise, I would have preferred to have a retractable sprit, but decided not to and make the best out of what I had. I started making the mods last season, for what I think will be useful, but did not finish.
    The bottom up “Karver” code furler that came with the boat, is awful piece of engineering and undersized. I had an older model Pro-furl on the code 0 on my previous race boat and was very happy with it…. compared to a couple of others I had used at the time.
    Most people buy on price and get something too small. To consider when choosing, is the diameter of the furling unit, not rocket science, the larger the diameter, the easier it is to furl, the newer model Pro-furl also incorporates a ratchet gizmo that in theory stops the sail escaping on you, but a firm pull in the right direction allow the sail to deploy. (I cannot verify this yet, but the sales spin sounds attractive).
    I had been recommended the torsion cable with the spinning plastic balls by a friend who had used it and recons that giving a larger initial diameter, makes a top down furl easier. (From my observations, top down furler’s seem to give more grief than bottom up furling).
    Having had a previous major wrap around my furled genoa last year, when using my asymmetric with a sock, I am motivated to gain more separation from my forestay (also can run a little deeper and reduce the chance of wraps). I will use a masthead halyard and I have extended the tack point another 300mm(est) out from the existing gennaker tack fitting on the stem, also adding a rigging screw for vertical brace and a bit an 6mm flat bar to triangulate to the deck. See pics.
    For the masthead fitting, I bought a Selden double masthead fairlead (takes 6 x 6mm rivets), this required a bit of massaging to get the upper mast shape on the base….. This also separates the south bound fractional kite halyard from the masthead halyard, as I have a couple of symmetrical fractional kites, (rarely use) , I need to keep the fractional halyard for. I did also buy a Sparcraft masthead fairlead, but decided over a beer the fastening arrangement was not grunty enough.
    I am running a 10mm dyneema halyard, I am not planning on a 2:1 halyard, as these are a real pain in the ass, I can live with a bit of sag.
    To keep the furling units “endless line” tidy and separated, I bought 3 x Wichard 20220 double fairleads that fit to stanchions, to run back to the cockpit. I plan on using my electric primaries for furling.
    I am most of the way there, just need to rig my masthead halyards through the new masthead fairlead and fit a divider in the deck sail locker; Code one side, Asymmetric the other.
    I keep Riff Raff in Greece but live in New Zealand, this year I will not get to return unit late in June, so can’t give you an update if I have made a fundamental cock up for sometime. If you have a more cunning plan, or want to chew the fat on anything about the 45, drop us a line on

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